Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Community Garden Soil Testing by OSU Chem Student

Rebecca mentioned to me about ten days ago that the Bexley Garden could get a free soil test from someone in the OSU Chemistry Department. We will definitely need this as we expand the Garden eastward. (We've had some soil testing already as reflected in a June posting here). Today, the Columbus Community Garden blog featured free soil testing for Columbus community gardens by an OSU Chemistry student. A coincidence? I don't know. But, here's more information about this student's great project. (I hope that she's getting classroom credit for this): OSU student garden soil testing website.

Soil testing is extremely important. Lead in particular can infect root crops (like my onions and potatoes) as well as herbs, spinach and lettuce. Fruit crops (like beans, tomatoes, watermelon, strawberries, etc.) are less at risk. A community garden in Buffalo, NY which had been in operation for more than 20 years discovered to its horror this summer that its soil had unhealthy levels of lead.

The City of Bexley had the Bexley Garden soil tested in April and May. I also sent soil samples from the Bexley and Stoddart Gardens to the University of Amherst in Massachusetts in June. See Garden Soil Test Results. However, that test did not test for arsenic.

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